Amazon's Kindle, and other devices like it, have posed a very real threat to the print industry for a while, but now the company could add libraries to the endangered species list. According to the Wall Street Journal (via The Next Web), Amazon is in talks to start a library service that will see folks pay a monthly subscription in exchange for access to book rentals. The reports claims that book publishers will be offered a substantial fee to take part in the program, which has yet to be confirmed by e-tail giant Amazon. The service would be U.S.-only to begin with, with the UK being added a few months later.
Amazon already has a subscription video service, a hugely popular e-reader and a massive chunk of the e-book market, so it wouldn't be all that surprising if this rumor came to fruition. Of course, pricing would be an issue; Amazon would have have to make it worthwhile before people would be willing to sign up to a monthly fee. However, the advantages of a digital library can't really be ignored: No more waiting lists because every copy of the book you have is already rented out, no more traipsing down to the local branch to pick up your books, and, perhaps most valuable, the service's ability to eliminate late fees (this would depend on how Amazon decided to run it, but useful reminders or an all-you-can-eat subscription are just two ways the company could help customers avoid pesky charges).
Would you join an Amazon e-library? Let us know in the comments below!